UN Children's Fund Jobs in Kenya

UN Children's Fund HIV/AIDS Specialist (Diagnostics & Paediatric HIV) Jobs in Kenya


If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development.

The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations.

The equity approach, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children's rights into action.

Children exposed to and living with HIV are a highly vulnerable group. The 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines1 recommend that anyone diagnosed with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment (ART) soon after diagnosis.

This is especially important for infants and young children because delays in treatment can have long term consequences for their health and development.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is home to 85 per cent of all new paediatric HIV infections in the world. While many countries in SSA are working to scale up early infant diagnosis and paediatric treatment of HIV, coverage rates remain far below the global goal of 90 per cent by 2020.

Limited availability and timely access to adequate HIV laboratory services to determine HIV status in infants and young children, and to monitor ART outcomes for children, women and other people living with HIV, remain major bottlenecks to effective roll out of the 2015 WHO guidelines.

There is a particularly high risk of loss to follow up for HIV exposed infants during the postnatal/breastfeeding period and many of these vulnerable infants slip through the programme before a final determination of their HIV status can be made.

UNICEF is a leading and trusted partner in supporting governments in SSA to scale up early infant diagnosis (EID) and paediatric HIV. As part of this effort, UNICEF, along with other global partners, is on the forefront of introducing and rolling out new point of care technologies for EID and viral load monitoring in SSA as they become available to the market. UNICEF is supported by UNITAID to expand and accelerate the use of POC technology in both ESA and WCA regions.

Purpose of the Position

The Specialist supports UNICEF's HIV response in order to contribute authoritative technical expertise on Diagnostics and Paediatric HIV and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results-based management approaches and methodology (RBM) and UNICEF's strategic frameworks and plans for HIV/AIDS, standards of performance and accountability framework.

The specialist with focus on 10 priority countries as follows: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe in ESARO and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Cameroon and Senegal in WCAR.

Duties and Responsibilities
The Specialist is under the direct supervision of the UNICEF Senior Health Specialist (PMTCT and Paediatric HIV) in Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), and with guidance from the UNICEF Regional Advisor HIV/AIDS in Western and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) and in collaboration with the Diagnostic Advisor and POC Project Manager in UNICEF New York Headquarters (NYHQ).

The incumbent will provide programme support, oversight, coordination and quality assurance, technical leadership and capacity development; advocacy, networking and partnership building; and, communications and knowledge management.

Programme support, oversight coordination and quality assurance
  • Ensure that regional and country level activities are implemented in line with expected outcomes and measurable progress indicators
  • Work closely with project countries to operationalize the committed deliverables for diagnostic and paediatric HIV specific activities.
  • Coordinate with Supply Division and COs to ensure POC operational demands are generated
  • Support CO focal points in managing country specific challenges for introduction and scale up of POC for early infant diagnosis (EID) and viral load monitoring (VL), and linkage to effective treatment and clinical decision making
  • Monitor the overall implementation of diagnostic and paediatric HIV activities in line with office key performance indicators and in accordance with programme budget allotments.

    Technical leadership, support and capacity development
  • Support countries and regional bodies to update POC and related laboratory policies and guidance
  • In coordination with NYHQ HIV Section and Supply Division, support the semi-annual and annual POC project situation analysis based on available information from CO and partners.
  • Support country level POC and related planning activities, assessments and evaluations
  • Support Supply Division and coordinate with COs to ensure POC operational demands are generated.
  • Facilitate and drive technical leadership on diagnostics, POC and linkage to treatment for country programme preparation and providing inputs for reviews where appropriate.
  • Providing guidance and feedback to RO and CO in development of POC related funding proposal.
  • Working closely with the HQ global diagnostics manager to inform global strategies that reflect national and regional priorities and bringing the latest global evidence to the region and COs.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of UNICEF staff in POC diagnostics and paediatric HIV.

    Advocacy, networking and partnership building
  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with regional and country level stakeholders and others to ensure harmonized and synergistic contributions to POC.
  • Support coalitions and networks for advocacy at national and regional levels.

    Key Expected Results
  • Monthly communication and status updates have been completed for the ten priority countries (7 in ESA, 3 in WCA regions) including progress, challenges and strategies for addressing them.
  • Recommendations have been provided to strengthen POC introduction and roll out in the 10 priority countries.
  • Timely regional and country inputs submitted and high-quality inputs made for required donor reports. Regional inputs have been provided for the twice yearly situation analysis of point of care diagnostics and country contributions have been quality assured.
  • Capacity of COs in the 10 priority countries strengthened in terms of HIV diagnostics, POC and paediatric treatment.
  • Regional partnerships on HIV diagnostics, including POC and paediatric treatment strengthened.
  • A system developed and in place to monitor progress and track promising practices around the region in HIV diagnostics, POC and paediatric treatment.

    Qualifications of Successful Candidate

    Education

  • An Advanced University Degree in health laboratory, biomedical sciences, pediatric health, family health, public health, global/international health, health policy and/or management, epidemiology or other health related sciences is required.

    Work Experience
  • A minimum of 8 years of professional experience in laboratory services, HIV/AIDS or public health planning and management at the international level some of which preferably in a developing country is required. Relevant experience in HIV and/or laboratory diagnostics programme or project development and management in any UN system agency or organization is an asset.
  • Experience in programme monitoring and evaluation is an added advantage.

    Language Proficiency
    Fluency in English (verbal and written).
    Intermediate French (at a minimum)

    Travel
    Willingness and ability to travel within the ESA and WCA regions up to 40% of the time.

    Competencies of Successful Candidate

    Core Values
  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

    Core competencies
  • Communication (II)
  • Working with People (II)
  • Drive for Results (II)

    Functional Competencies
  • Formulating strategies/concepts (II)
  • Analyzing (III)
  • Relating and networking (II)
  • Deciding and initiating action (II)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (III)

    How to Apply:
    For more information and job application details, see; UN Children's Fund HIV/AIDS Specialist (Diagnostics & Paediatric HIV) Jobs in Kenya

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

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